Interplay of interleukin-1 and receptor antagonist
If IL-1 is released, it binds to its receptor, which is present on the surface of various target cells. This specific binding leads to activation, which initiates further inflammatory and immune responses. The natural inhibitor of IL-1 is the IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RN). This binds to the same receptor, but blocks it rather than activating it. When the stimulus subsides, IL-1RN thus brings about a gradual reduction in the immune and inflammatory responses. If the interaction between IL-1 and IL-1RN is impaired as a result of genetic variations, the affected patient tends to have increased inflammatory responses to external stimuli.